News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Scio School District welcomes new principals this fall

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

Scio middle and high school students will say hello to new principals in September. 

“I personally am super excited to announce the two new members of our leadership team,” said Steve Martinelli, superintendent of the Scio School District. “They both bring an energy and excitement that is contagious. Each possesses natural leadership skills and look forward to getting to know everyone in the school community. 

“I firmly believe in the power of relationships,” Marinelli added. “Students will not learn until they know we genuinely care about them. Parents will not trust us without communication and transparency. Both of our new principals realize the power of relationships, and they are going to be great additions to our community.”

Jacob Alburn
Jacob Alburn
Kyle Braa
Kyle Braa

Raised in Scio, Kyle Braa takes on the role as principal of the high school he graduated from in 2001. Braa spent the first 12 years of his education career working in Scio as a teacher and coach. The last four years, he worked in the Salem Keizer and Greater Albany school districts as a behavior specialist, instructional coach and new teacher mentor.

“I got into education because I really enjoy working with kids and helping them grow as people,” Braa said. “What encouraged me to get into administration is simply that I wanted to have a positive impact in the community that I live in and love.”

His said his biggest challenge is having not been in Scio for the last four years. 

“One of the greatest things about working in Scio is knowing the students and families,” Braa said. “I am very excited to get to meet new faces and reconnect with familiar ones.”

Braa looks forward to reestablishing relationships with staff, students and families and interacting with the Scio community. 

“I cannot wait to have students back in the building,” he said.

Scio is a special place to Braa, who added, “I am elated to be back working with a place I care so deeply about.”

Taking on the middle school principal role is Jacob Alburn, a lifelong Oregonian. He has been married 18 years and has four children, ages 14, 12, 10 and 5. He enjoys many athletic events and dabbles in disc golf.

“I desired to become an educator because seeing others learn is an experience unlike any other,” Alburn said. “As a math and AVID teacher, experiencing learning alongside my students has also been amazing. 

“I also desired to be a part of the world of education because, within the system, I have the propensity to be part of future changes and have the opportunity to develop solutions to current and future challenges,” he added.

As an administrator, Alburn hopes to have the opportunity to facilitate the continued learning of Scio Middle School’s students, staff and community.

“As someone new to Scio, an immediate challenge will be getting to know the community,” Alburn said. 

“I plan to be available to learn as much about my students, families, staff and community as quickly as possible. I want to establish and maintain regular communication and be as transparent in communication as possible. Past this, through our shared learning, sustained challenges will emerge, and we’ll create actionable steps at that time.”

Alburn’s professional passions include systems and creating access for all students, which he looks forward to exploring in a middle school environment.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity and look to partner alongside students, staff and families to continue to help students reach their full potential and be prepared for a successful life,” Alburn said. 

The process to hire the new principals began in June and ended July 13 with the two candidates accepting their positions after Martinelli spent “18 hours of interviews, 20+ hours of reference calling, 16 pages of pros and cons listed, and several sleepless nights.”

“I’m confident we will be very happy with our selections,” he said.

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